Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Future of Evergreen Rural School, Bloomingdale Township

This week we received the following press release regarding the Evergreen rural school building, formerly District #7, Bloomingdale Township.  The Bloomingdale Area Historical Association has plans for the building whose current site is on the intersection of CR 380 and 44th Street in Section 31.

March 21, 2012
The last available one-room school in Bloomingdale Township, Van Buren County, will be moved from its current rural site to the Village of Bloomingdale on March 24, 2012 between 8AM -12PM.  The move will be performed by Laraway and Sons House Movers of Pullman MI, in cooperation of the Indiana Michigan Power Company, The Van Buren County Road Commission, local Amish families and the Township of Bloomingdale.

Courtesy of Shelby Ashbrook, taken 2001
The Evergreen School is currently located at the corner of CR 380 and 44th Street adjacent to the Evergreen Cemetery. The building has served many functions over the years including: a Church, Community center, neighborhood school, VFW Meeting hall and most recently as a school for Amish children.  It was established in the early 1860’s.  The Bloomingdale Area Historical Association (BAHA) purchased the school house from Bloomingdale Township  in 2010 with the provision that it be moved from its current site by this summer.

The future plans for the Evergreen School include:
·      Preservation and restoration of the building
·      Community activities
·      Enhancement of the existing Bloomingdale Depot Museum 
·      Provide an opportunity for local school children to experience attending a school like their ancestors may have attended.
·      Provide a destination for vacationers visiting Southwestern Michigan and users of the Kal-Haven linear trail.
·      Provide an economic boost for local businesses and the local economy.

The Sponsors and owners of the Evergreen One-room School welcome any and all input from the community or persons with knowledge, pictures, artifacts, etc. relating to the History of the Evergreen School, its’ teachers, students, etc.

For further information contact Pat Bly, BAHA President at 269-330-0680, Email: davebly@btc-bci.com

Evergreen school is one of 4,700 schools represented in the Bess Britton Michigan One-Room Schoolhouse CollectionInformation in the file includes photographs of the building and student groups, transcripts and photocopies of school records, and newspaper clippings from various publications.  For more information about this or other schools in the Britton Collection, please contact us.

Nameless Picture of the Day
unknown school group
probably Allegan, Van Buren, Kalamazoo County area
Courtesy of Jennette Button Parkhurst

Can you identify the students in this photograph, or the name of the school?  This picture was donated to the Local History Collection by Jennette Parkhurst with many others identifying schools in Southwest Michigan.  However, this was the only one with no identification.  Please contact us if you have any information and we will publish it in a future blog.